Passing the state-mandated Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test is among the challenges students must conquer to earn a high school graduation certificate.
Around the state, students spend weeks preparing for the three days they'll be sequestered in a classroom answering questions about quadratic formulas, the Pythagorean theorem, differences of two squares and the FOIL method.
There's good new for those juniors who did not pass AIMS when it was administered last year. Those students will have ample opportunities to practice before it is given again Oct. 26, 27 and 28.
Most of the practice sessions are scheduled during the school district's fall break Oct. 4 to 15. That means students will have to give up some free time to practice and study for the test.
Successful completion of the test would meet graduation requirements.
Payson High School-sponsored free practice sessions for AIMS math testing will be Oct. 4 and 5 or Oct. 7 and 8. Study sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the computer lab at the Payson Center for Success, 501 S. McLane Rd.
At the sessions, students will learn how to take a multiple choice math tests, read word problems and review algebra and geometry topics on the test.
An AIMS math workshop will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4 to 7 in room 402 at Gila Community College.
The tutorial workshop will be taught by Northern Arizona University Professor of Educational Psychology Gary Moore and Payson Center for Success teacher Tom Stultz.
In the workshop, students will learn the secrets of taking math tests and find out what they need to study to pass AIMS math. The class also is designed to fill gaps in student's math knowledge.
The teachers predict if students do the work required for the workshop, they should pass the AIMS math test.
For juniors who have not passed the AIMS reading or writing tests, review sessions will be 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 5 and 6 and 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 13.
During the intersession, students will develop and hone test-taking strategies for writing and reading, including evaluating, clarifying and predicting.
The writing portion of AIMS is scheduled for Oct. 26. The following day, the reading portion will be given. The testing ends with math on the final day.
Juniors and seniors who have met the standard on an AIMS cannot retest this fall to include their scores.
Retesting may be done only in the spring when AIMS is again administered.
The fee for the workshop is $100. Since enrollment is limited to 15, Moore and Stultz are urging students to sign up as soon as possible.For more information call Moore at (928) 978-5799.
For more information, call the PHS guidance center at (928) 474-2233.